Stop Calling Wine “Juice”

Master Somm Juice TastingI admit it’s a pet peeve of mine. I acknowledge that there are more important things going on in the world of wine, like the current schmoozing at IPNC, or maybe the lack of diversity on wine writer panels at the recent blogger conference. But please, I implore everyone! For the love of God stop referring to wine as “juice”!

It’s Infantile

Toddlers drink juice. Wine is an adult beverage. When one refers to wine as “juice” in public it sounds like baby talk, and may — in truth — violate the industry’s voluntary guidelines on promoting underage drinking. Think about it.

It’s Derogatory

As slang, all other connotations of “juice” are negative. Money and influence, likely gained in an unsavory manner. Steroids. Spunk, jism, baby batter, semen. Stop it. And it is an unfortunate fact that “juice” is an apt descriptor for some wines that people reading this post may find easy to sell but wouldn’t be caught dead drinking themselves.

It’s Exclusionary

I’ll allow that industry insiders — the bro’s, the dudes and dudettes who sling this stuff for a living — use the term amongst themselves with reasonable impunity, and sometimes a nod and a wink to irony. Get it? Insiders — otherwise known to outsiders as “douchebags” — use the term. Insiders? — stop using it in public. Outsiders? — stop using it at all.

It’s Inaccurate

At the end of the day juice is to wine as fetus is to baby. As milk is to cheese. As bricks are to houses. People don’t confuse these other things, or use one word to refer to the other.

And in other news…

On a more serious note, obviously if I haven’t posted anything here since May 16th there is something else taking up all my time and attention. Premature to report, but news is coming. Until then I am throwing out random bits and little fits @jkellyca on Twitter

9 thoughts on “Stop Calling Wine “Juice”

  1. Pat F

    I agree, using the word juice referring to wine, is like referring to San Francisco as “Frisco”; nobody in the know would do that. In wine production we strive to use correct terminology, not to sound sophisticated or “cool”, but to communicate as concisely and correctly as possible. Confusing wine and juice in a production environment could be disastrous.

  2. rew

    both of you guys are lame. Seriously – you took time to sound like an idiot by saying people shouldn’t use the word juice? That’s stupid. I like it when I hear it – and I mostly hear other Sommeliers say it or those in the wine profession. Everyone knows what it means and it means the wine is Delicious – maybe even has some ripe fruit nuances in it.

    As far as Frisco – I’ve got buddies native to the area that call it Frisco. It’s all of the transient douche bags that get all up and hyphy about calling it Frisco. Stop in and see Frisco Boxing and Frisco Motorcycle club and tell them how much you don’t like it.

    1. John Kelly Post author

      Bro’, dude – really? I sound like an idiot? Did you not see where I pointed out that you and your 2nd-level somm buddies get a pass on using the term amongst yourselves (because you are all just so f**king awesome!)? You are welcome to like it when you hear it. At the same time, I am welcome to think less of you when I hear you use it, Andrew. 😉

  3. Kurt Burris

    With all respect, unless you are paying me I will call my wine whatever I want. I don’t use juice in public, but I have used the term while sitting around drinking with friends. I also use plonk, vin ordinaire, and good s#*t upon occasion. It’s called slang.

    1. John Kelly Post author

      That’s my point, Kurt – call “wine” anything that strikes your fancy when you’re sitting around drinking with friends. But like Samantha, I cringe when I see or hear it in public. My first words in this post were to the effect that the fault is in my stars. But that fault is strong in me — if I see or hear someone using it in public, I’m unlikely to consider hiring that person in any capacity. I’m unlikely to choose to do business with them, either buying from them or selling them my finished products. And I’m likely to discount anything else they have to say about wine. But hey, that’s my bad.

  4. rew

    Homiesan – I didn’t say idiot, I said it’s lame – meaning this article is lame. But the juice that you make looks good at Westwood. I would love to try it sometime and I would even restrain myself from using the ‘word’


    just jagging bromeister

  5. Kurt Burris

    Point taken John. I have never called a great wine “good juice” to a client, or worse, a potential client, unless I knew them very, very well. Cheers!


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